"Shifting the Emphasis from Content to Activity" 3 Approaches to Online Conversational Learning

N. Kearney (Spain)


E-learning and e-training, e-pedagogy, conversational learning, content, activity


The Stellenbosch declaration of July 2005, entitled “ICT in Education: Make it Work”[1] set out an agenda for the future development of the use of ICT in education. It is an encouraging agenda in that it focuses especially on questions relating to universal access to the knowledge society. As an agenda it is laudable, however, as is the case with most declarations of this kind, much of what it says is couched in general terms. The intention of this paper is to give support to the declaration by providing concrete examples from our research that illustrate how one of the key statements can work in practice. The statement is “Shift e-learning emphasis from content to activity” (page 6) This paper, after some introductory remarks, describes three applied research projects that developed ICT-based learning methodologies that illustrate this shift of emphasis. Some of the implications of this shift are then discussed and in the conclusions there is a short discussion (arising out of the third project) of the concept of digital literacy as a question of empowerment, and its expression in the declaration, since our understanding is that it is necessary to include this idea in all discussions of ICT-based learning.

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